Poppies for Susan

We have received lots of messages for Susan, all of them loving and lovely, but I hadn’t exactly considered what I was setting myself up for in reading them to her.

There’s something that maybe you should know about me. I never cry at the sad parts of movies – you know, when you’re supposed to. The music swells, the protagonist’s lover or best friend or mother or whatnot dies horribly, gets maimed, blinded, irrevocably concussed, hit by a bus, eaten by ocelots, and I’m completely dry-eyed. Hit me with a touching happy moment, though, and I’m putty in Hollywood hands.

The long-lost dog finally comes home, limping over the ridge. The hard-hearted father tearfully tells his son that he’s proud of him. Basically the happy ending to every “The Goldbergs” episode. Joyous, jubilent moments hit me hard and leave me reaching for the tissues.

So reading these heartwarming messages to Susan has cost us a lot of tissue money. (I’ll be invoicing you individually.) I can get through one, generally,  but two in a row is more than my tear ducts can bear. (But please keep sending them, they are a great distraction and have brought us so much joy.)

I’ll probably share a post with little exerpts from lots of your messages, but I got one today that I wanted to share. I’ll let the sender, Sina, take it from here.

Hello Matthew, 

We don’t really know each other and I don’t know Susan at all. 

But I have been following your blog for quite some time now and I am checking it regularly. Susan’s story was one of the things that kept me going this year. Her strength, optimism, courage, humour and love is something so admirable. She gave me strength and bravery on days when I didn’t have it. And I don’t even know her. I wanted to share that with Susan and thank her for it. 

During the summer I wrote a song called “Poppies and Roses” which talks about the nature in Provence and the fact that when I am feeling bad, I cannot see the world’s beauty and I feel alone. I wanted to share this song with Susan, so I recorded it for her. If you could share this message with her, I would be very grateful. 

Dear Matthew, I am also admiring your strength and bravery and that of your whole family. I am thinking of you guys every day. 

Sending love and strength.”


  1. That was such a lovely song and beautiful message, Sina. Susan has such strength, positivity and a warm light and you, Matthew, have fierce love and loyalty that has been her rock (and the family’s). I think and pray for you all each day🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Matthew,
    you don’t know me as well. I knew Susan from the Congress/Bundestag exchange in 1989-90. I have not spoken to her since then, other than a few FB posts. I lost my father to cancer last year. It was a terrible process. I have been reading your blogs. I have found myself crying each time. It brings all of it back up and into clear focus. I am amazed at Susan and your strength. I think about you both and your family almost every day. I wish I had words to comfort you both but, I do not. I pray for you, I cry with you, I wish you every ounce of strength from my heart and soul. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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